[Thanks to David Rawlins for the copy of the 1956 Review.]
The past Science Society year has once again been a full one, the programme including lectures, films and a Brains Trust. The standard of lectures has been high and the attendance has risen until now we have nearly thirty members showing that last year's appeal did not go unnoticed. Next year we hope to have a bigger following still, as our recently established sixth form continues to grow in size. Owing to the wide variety of subjects discussed, the society should not fail to appeal to the Arts side of the sixth form which is regrettably conspicuous by its absence. This year we held a "Brains Trust", the panel consisting of members of the staff of "different academic persuasions" which proved very popular and drew a large audience.
The lectures this year have been as follows :- In January, B. Adkins spoke about the Solar System. This was followed in March by a lecture on Scouting by T. Chell, and one on Amateur Astronomy by A. Hordell. After the summer break, when Science Society members prepare for the July exams., the Society resumed in the Autumn term and the addresses of the principal officers of the Society were given. A. J. Jones gave an authoritative account of "Paints and Pigments" and N. H. Jones spoke on the "Evolution of the Earth". A popular lecture proved to be that of the Secretary who spoke on "Wines and Spirits". The last lecture of the year was given by E. Grund whose subject was "Criminology". The Annual Party of the Science Society will take place towards the end of the term and it has been decided that a "Brains Trust" will follow the tea.
D. E. Rawlins.
The Club re-commenced for the spring term on the 25th January. After the usual formalities had been conducted a lecture was given by Mr. Howell, his subject being "High Frequency Currents". Incidentally, on this occasion the human body was accidentally shown to be an excellent conductor of electricity by a certain individual, who, upon approaching too close to the electronic apparatus, which was used to illustrate the lecture, had his potential difference raised a few thousand times. The other lectures during the spring term were :- Petrol Engines (Mr. Howell), Fishing (P. Colclough), Underwater Swimming (P. Colclough), Jet Engines (Mr. Howell).
In March, the club was discontinued for the summer term because of an anticipated fall in attendance. On the first meeting of this term, the officials for the following school year were elected, they are :- B. Adkins, Secretary , J. Butler, Treasurer.
Mr. Howell gave a lecture on the "Two-stroke Engine". He illustrated his lecture by a working model of such an engine which when started (with difficulty) produced a great deal of noise and gave out large volumes of smoke. The lectures for the remaining part of the term are :- Horology (J. Butler) ; Cycling (Savage) Radio (Cavenor) ; Cacti (Bloor).
B. Adkins, Hon. Secretary.
In his address the speaker gave the background to the writings of Karl Marx, firstly in the life of Marx himself and secondly in the world of his day. He then gave an account of the theories of Marx and the weapons he forged for the underprivileged in their fight. He passed on to an estimation of Marxism, giving points in favour and criticisms of the theory.
After this address the conference split up for discussion in small groups. During these discussions questions were formulated, being answered by Canon Norburn after a short break for tea. The questions showed interest in the working of Communism today and concern as to the Christian attitude to Communism and how to defeat it. The closing service was a fitting end to a conference on a subject of such vital interest to us all.
The January meeting took place at the Orme Girls' School where we had a general discussion on Capital Punishment with speakers from Wolstanton, Clayton Hall and Hanley High School. At Wolstanton Grammar School in March we were addressed by Mme. Debu-Bridel who spoke on the system of French Government. The lecture proved to be one of general interest and the information given was first hand.
Our annual afternoon meeting was held in July at Westwood Hall Girls' School, Leek, when the Prior of Hawkesyard spoke on the Duties and Limitations of Citizenship. For the more energetic of us the tennis courts were available though the meeting finished too late to allow us to achieve anything of note.
The social meeting at Longton High School again proved to be a great success with the usual big attendance. Party games and dancing took place after a somewhat unfair Ballroom Debate in which Alfred Nobel, Mrs. Pankhurst and Lord Baden Powell could not compete with Louis Armstrong's swing records.
The last meeting of the term was held at Thistley Hough School in October, when the emotional film "The Divided Heart" was shown to a record audience of over four hundred.
A party of about six boys hopes to visit London for the C.E.W.C. Christmas Holiday Lectures after a highly successful visit paid by A. J. Jones and D. E. Rawlins last year.
D. E. Rawlins.
We settled in quickly and decided to lunch before we went to the opening meeting of the conference at the Central Hall, Westminster. At 2.15 p.m. Dr. Gilbert Murray, O.M., President of C.E.W.C. welcomed us and the opening address was given by Mr. Selwyn Lloyd, then Minister of Defence. He told us of the need for world peace and said that we were the people who could develop this idea into true reality. The chairman then called upon Mr. Attlee, now of course Earl Attlee, to give us his paper on WAR AND PEACE. When he ended his informative speech, questions were asked and before the meeting dosed we departed to the Discussion Groups.
The Discussion Groups consisted of about 30 people and these were sub-divided into four groups. Our own group had to discuss Social Progress and I was called upon by our leader, Mr. L. S. Kudchedkar to present my own sub- group report. I was allowed to make a few notes. That concluded our business for the afternoon. That evening the organisation had arranged a dance, which Rawlins attended but which I avoided and strolled round some of the well known spots in London, Trafalgar Square, Westminster and the Thames Embankment.
The next morning, 28th December, we decided to enjoy a morning in St. Paul's Cathedral, going right up to the golden orb on the summit of the dome.
Thursday, 29th December. At 10 a.m. we went to the Central Hall to hear a speech by Mr. J. H. Anderson, Director Eastern Province, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, on "Men against Poverty". This proved extremely enlightening and we began to realise that we are lucky to be in such a favourable position compared with the rest of the world. The questions caused many conflicts between the chairman, Dame Kathleen Courtney, D.B.E., and the questioners, some of whom insisted on making speeches instead of directly asking a question. At 11-30 a.m. Mr. Ritchie Calder addressed us in a witty speech on "Men against Ignorance". He presented two young people with one of his books written in Chinese and proved them to be ignorant to illustrate his speech. After dinner we again met as discussion groups and I presented my report to our group. Having heard other reports we explained to some southerners how important the Potteries is, not only for pots but for coal.
The evening saw us at a concert of International Music, Song and Dafice. No microphones were used but all the artistes were heard well and everyone was interested. Miss Margo Fonteyn was also introduced to us and she autographed twelve programmes which were auctioned the next day.
Friday, 30th December. Mrs. Pandit was unable to attend to give her address on "One World or Two" and the wife of the Indian Ambassador deputised for her. The latter part of the morning included an address by Mr. Terence Lawson, our Secretary, full of good humour, and then by Mr. H. Davies, F.C.A., Hon. Treasurer of U.N.A. I was meanwhile at the Science Museum learning what I could. The afternoon saw a U.N. Quiz, and the presentation of group reports. Then Rawlins and myself hurried to catch the train home. Our journey was interesting as we talked with a Medical Student from London University who enlightened us on University education.
During our stay in London we were the target of all sorts of propaganda. Communists tried to get us to their meetings, Cypriots passed us leaflets, "Daily Worker" was on sale, and inside the hall we were presented with pamphlets on Human Rights, Colombo Plan and all manner of United Nations propaganda. For all this we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.